Title page for ETD etd-11082007-204227

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Russ, Molly J.
Author's Email Address mruss1@lsu.edu
URN etd-11082007-204227
Title Individual and Organizational Differences in Organizational Commitment and Escalation of Commitment
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Department Psychology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Tracey Rizzuto Committee Chair
Kevin Mossholder Committee Member
Robert Mathews Committee Member
Sean Lane Committee Member
Prithiva Chanmougam Dean's Representative
  • organizational commitment
  • escalation of commitment
  • commitment
Date of Defense 2007-10-19
Availability unrestricted
The present study extended the literature on employee commitment and escalation bias to include individual and organizational difference factors. Escalation bias refers to the tendency for a decision-maker to become overly committed to the decision focus (e.g., the organization, supervisor, an ongoing project) even in light of negative feedback regarding the person’s or project’s performance (Moon, 2001; Staw, 1976). An escalation of commitment to a losing course of action is viewed as risky and often costly behavior to organizations. The main purpose of the present study was to identify factors that may predispose persons to escalate their commitment. While using the organization as the commitment focus, the study analyzed individual-level organizational commitment type, moderators of the commitment – escalation of commitment relationship, including openness to experience, resistance to change, and sensation-seeking behaviors, and decision rationale as a relationship mediator. While there was no main effect linking organizational commitment to escalation of commitment or mediation effects, openness to experience and resistance to change were significant moderators of the commitment – escalation of commitment relationship, with the interaction dependent on the type of commitment displayed. The findings from this research may provide organizations insight into hiring, training, and other human resource decisions. Suggestions for future research on individual and organizational difference factors related to commitment and escalation bias are discussed.
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